The second visit by a delegation from Mexico last week involved a whistle-stop tour of Co Longford and a number of official engagements.
County Cathaoirleach, Cllr Gerry Warnock possibly summed up the occasion most aptly when he said that this follow-up visit, the first of which occurred back in March when a twinning agreement was signed between Longford and Huixquilucan, was about building links, exploring possibilities and reaching out after a very long and difficult economic period in world history.
“We are all very positive about the future and we hope that this connection that we have established with our friends in Mexico will become stronger in the months and years ahead,” added Cllr Warnock.
Last Wednesday was a very special day during the visit, as the delegation which included the Mayor of Huixquilucan and nine members of the local council, were introduced to the very best in manufacturing that this county has to offer.
First off was a visit to Lanesboro Power Station and then it was on to Kiernan Structural Steel and its state of the art facility in Killoe.
A tour of the site, brought great admiration from the delegates whose mayor added, “(we) are very impressed with what Longford has to offer the field of manufacturing.”
Frank Kiernan of Kiernan Structural Steel told the Mexican visitors during a presentation that he looked forward “to forging business links between the two communities in the future.”
Mayor Reynol told Mr Kiernan that he was very impressed by what he had witnessed at the plant, and added, “This is a wonderful example of a successful family run business.”
Then it was back to council headquarters for the official welcoming of the Huixquilucan delegation where representatives were greeted by Longford Rose, Daphne Howard.
After the formalities, Mayor Reynol paid an affectionate tribute to all those involved in the twinning agreement between the two towns and said much could be achieved together, on an economic and social scale.
“We are very honoured to be here with you,” he added.
“We are a generous town in the centre of Mexico City and have 260,000 inhabitants.
“We are a people of peace and the people that have come to Longford are representative of the community in Huixquilucan.”
The Mexican mayor went on to say that traditions and values were important factors to life in Huixquilucan - factors he added, that were similar to those of the people of Longford.
“We are a good people,” he added.
“People who want to work and grow old in peace.”
Proceedings then concluded, and the Longford Rose was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Her mother, Ann who was also there, was surprised when she too was presented with flowers in recognition of a long and distinguished career in local mental health services.
Ann Howard retired just last week.